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- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 
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- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 
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Parent company Time Warner announced today that it is consolidating New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Entertainment, with the former being operated as a unit of Warner Bros.
According to the press release, New Line will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution, and business affairs operations but will "will closely integrate and coordinate those functions with Warner Bros. to maximize film performance and operating efficiencies, achieve significant cost savings, and improve margins." In my experience, this is corporate-speak for "where there are two groups doing those functions, there will be one before long." "Efficiencies" and "synergies" are never good buzzwords for employees hoping to keep their jobs.
On that note, New Line’s Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne have elected to leave the studio. It is ironic that a little more than two months after Peter Jackson is back for doing the two movies of The Hobbit, the prequels to the highly successful "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (read article about this news), the man who said "he [Jackson] will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working for the company" is now gone.
How will any of this affect the movies that we get to enjoy? Hopefully, not much. However, if this consolidation is a result of the mis-management of the profits from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and that, by doing so, it got some projects back on track (like The Hobbit), I'm glad that it happened. Let's hope that buzzword bingo doesn't hit the good people just trying to do their jobs too harshly.
Source: Time Warner Press Release
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